Personal Halloway

Realized my bra and my toenail polish matched today. So that’s something I have going for me.

JOBS JOBS JOBS. Apparently my back is pretty jacked up. This means I haven’t flown since February. This means I get anywhere from two to four hours of sleep each night. This means I’m moving squadrons. This means I’m getting a new job (or two) less than five months before I separate from Active Duty in December. I mean, sure, there are reasons not to keep a brokeass has-been weapons officer around your squadron, I get the numbers issue. It is a lot better to fill that spot I’m hogging with someone capable. But… less than five months? Close to a month of that time I will be out-processing or on leave. I’m going to be a squadron executive officer (secretary) again. When I was an exec previously, I liked making the bosses look good. I liked my bosses. Best bosses I ever had. So that makes a difference. We shall see how things go in the next couple weeks. To train the guy taking over my job (new lieutenant), my shop chief lobbied for me to have two weeks of on-the-job training. I had to fight to get one damn day. This poor guy is not set up for success, and neither is the 94 people whose security clearances and training he has to manage. It’s okay though, because I get two days to learn my new jobs… yes, job with an -s… including executive officer… which is usually two weeks or longer of changeover. I feel like no one has my back right now.

Larry’s gone for a while on his duty overseas. I think it’s perfectly normal to make up songs and sing them to your dog. Or carry on entire conversations with his responses in a Scooby Doo-like voice, debating politics, fashion, and the pro’s and con’s of ingesting questionable culinary choices from the very back of the fridge. I’m okay guys, really! See… I go out and do things with friends. At casinos. Classy.

MUSIC TUNES NOTES. All my gentlemen pals at the Louisiana  War Veteran’s Home are doing really well. I go visit with them each Saturday and play piano. It’s pretty neat how different homes like different genres. The assisted living facility in Minot, North Dakota requested mostly Lutheran hymns. This also goes for the center I was playing for in town here (I’ve since haven’t returned after begging for months to be placed on their entertainment schedule). The War Vets home likes country music, like Hank Williams and Slim Whitman jams (Slim’s my jam, I’m a big collector)… but they also appreciate honky tonky show tunes. Very interesting. Anyway, I get over there once a week or more if I have the time. There’s nothing I’d rather be doing than doling out weekly hugs to handsome elderly vets. ♥

SHAME. Oh man, I’m thirty now, by the way. I like it. The first thing that happened to me when I got up after turning thirty was drive down the highway & get propositioned for freeway exit sex with obscene gestures. Shame on you, Missouri drivers. SHAME. Speaking of which, I can play Rains of Castamere on the piano. Don’t all you brides-to-be be blowin’ up my phone for me to play at your receptions. Well, if I ever answered my phone.

ANSISTERY. Lastly, I did a fancy DNA spit cup test at to find out my ethnicity. Oh before all you freedom fighters get all crazy, the military already has my DNA on file. So it’s a non-issue. Anyway! I got this eyeopening look at what makes me, ME… from a ’round the world standpoint. I was always told I was “Half Italian (speak it third best), German, and Irish.” Well, I am just as much Irish as I am Middle Eastern! How cool is that? I even have DNA from PAPUA NEW GUINEA! So baller I can’t even handle it! Anyway here are the actual results:

Larry got 100% European. Figures.


Been Busy!

MINOT PRIDE. This past Saturday was a semi-impromptu gathering for Minot’s LBGT community at Sweet and Flour Bakery downtown. I say impromptu because the organizer, a co-worker of mine, thought it up just a week earlier when we saw him at 10 North Main. In just a week’s time, the word spread and there was well over one hundred attendees packed into a tiny pastry shop! Now, if you remember waaaay back to a year ago, about this time, said Sweet and Flour of Minot had a pre-opening gala until midnight. Luckily for me, it was my birthday and I headed over there to try a bakery selection in lieu of a birthday cake. It was so terrible, I didn’t have a desire to go back. Until now — because of the good reason! Anyway, the cupcake was still dry and sawdust-like, but the pastries were pretty legit. There were guests from all styles and walks of life, including straight couples from work, straight singles from work, pseudo-crossdressing teenage boys, an older man in drag, hot scenester lesbians, and of course, everything in-between. It was a really nice time and Larry was a very good sport about it all. We wanted to support our friend from work, and I think he was thrilled with the success & popularity of his get together!

TOO MANY TWINKIES. The Saturday last week that I volunteered to help out with the Wounded Warrior 5K Race, I wasn’t able to visit and play the piano for the elderly folks at Trinity Homes like I usually do that day. I figured nobody would really notice too much, anyway.

Totally wrong.

“How come you didn’t come by last weekend?”
“I missed that beautiful piano playing.”
“You weren’t here last week; I thought you might be doing an exercise On-Base.”

This week, Trinity Homes was short their usual volunteers, so I hit a double dose of piano-and-help-out action on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday morning, I helped out with the “Hope Floats Minot 5K”, which is for a park to be rebuilt due to our flood of 2011, and was able to go help out with my elderly entourage. Anyway, the Trinity Homes church service there was surprisingly legit — the pastor reminded me of the one back home, at the where church I’d go with my Gramma. The dude plays organ and sings. He’s like a one man church service. Dem skillz.

Here is a picture of me and Rachel, on a BUFF training mission. The ladies have it! She was the Radar Navigator, and I was kicking it old school as Navigator. Since I upgraded, I rarely get to sit in the Navigator seat (and do flight timing control). Usually the brand new navigators I fly with are more comfortable in the navigator seat, because that’s what they’re used to.

MUSTY PAGES. Holy crap, Mitch Clem’s My Stupid Life and Nothing Nice to Say comics. Blast from the past. It makes me kinda sad, though; nostalgic I suppose, but not a place I’d like to revisit readily. That compartment of my brain has a lot of nerd knowledge packed into it (like a friggin’ space bag), but has been set to mothballs. Like I tell people I meet in the military, I had an entire life before I joined the Air Force. I wasn’t one of those “live with your parents, move out to college to live in a dorm and do ROTC or the academy, then move into the dorms at flight school, then move into an apartment near base (or on base). I moved thirteen times total in college. I couch surfed when I didn’t have anywhere to stay between moves. I worked some pretty neat jobs while putting myself through college. Like I said, an entire life. It’s like a new chapter is being written, and the previous ones have been closed and printed. This comic illustrates it nicely.

TUROK, TRASH HUNTER. So in the evenings, when Larry and I take Otto for his walk, I bring a plastic bag along to go trash hunting. And trash hunting is just a more brutal way to say “pick up garbage”. The census is in: people who smoke Marlboros (or any cigarettes, really), eat Taco John’s, and drink beer or Arizona Iced Tea are the biggest litterbugs. Oh yeah, Monster drinks, too. Keep it classy, Minotians. Combine all of those and you might get a super righteous kidney stone.

JUST PALS AROUND. Yesterday, Otto went a new pal’s house. A new lieutenant in my squadron just moved here, with his small beagle and miniature dachshund (she is 8 lbs.! If you remember, I had a miniature dachshund that was 7.5 lbs.). Anyway, they are moving into their lovely new home, complete with a big, grassy fenced backyard. Otto immediately started playing with the beagle, as the mini each just barked. I guess I’d be scared of someone twice my size, too! Yes, it’s a “play date” for dogs — we people who don’t have kids have play dates, too. Toddler not required.

FASHION. And here is your obligatory fashion photo. Usually I post outfit ideas, but I wanted to show off my new shoes I got on Ebay. I saw them in Guam while deployed, but the store’s clientele is mostly tiny Japanese people, who don’t stock anything over a women’s 9 for their tiny feet. Because of the short toe box of these shoes, I needed a 9.5, when I am regularly an 8.5. Chanel and Louboutin, get your toe box/sizing under control, for real! So thanks, Ebay, for not selling me a fake pair of Chanel shoes, and at an amazingly low price. The dress is by Stop Staring! and is universally flattering on everyone. Sneaky stripes… This is from my birthday dinner with Larry last weekend.


Athletic Supporter

SHAPING UP. — I re-accomplished my Air Force Physical Training test this week. This is a comparison of my score from just a month ago with last Wednesday’s test results:

In 60 Seconds:
Pushups: 31 / 26 (I didn’t want to fatigue my core for the sit-ups a minute later)
Sit-ups: 31 / 44

1.5 Mile Run: 12’30” / 12’10”
Waist: 28″ / 28″
Weight (lbs): 146/136 (height: 5’9″)

With these statistics, I scored a 92.6%. Just to further drive home how flawed the Air Force fitness tests are, you can still “fail” the test by not meeting the set minimums (even with my score of 86.2% from a month ago). Also, you start the 1.5 mile run from a dead stop. Super healthy…

And speaking of super healthy, I attended the fatbody’s “people who failed their PT test class”, which is mandatory, to learn about how to eat right, exercise and goal-setting (sigh). When going around the room, with the question posed of “What things have you heard about healthy eating?”, I replied curtly “Don’t eat food with labels.”

It took everyone a minute

LEAVE JOBS. — Lots of changes at work lately. After a year as the squadron executive officer, I have moved to working in Standards and Evaluations. I help organize all the folder that contain check rides and tests for air crew. Honestly, it’s a step down in a way. Usually you get hooked up, as a former executive officer, with a more “unique” job, but I have a feeling I was just stuck in a dark corner to get rid of me until I (supposedly) move this fall/winter. I also didn’t get the opportunity to deploy overseas with my squadron; with no real reason why. The new job is super easy, and way less stressful than the exec job. I likened the new office to a library; it’s super quiet, and there’s fake, dusty trees in the office. Luckily, I have my iPod.

I put all my effort into my former job. It seems so strange to me they’d put me in a box and shove me upstairs, away from the rest of the squadron, when I love people and helping people so much. Nobody ever comes upstairs (especially now that the whole squadron is deployed). People need help with all sorts of things and they come ask me. Makes you feel purposeful; now, not so much. But hopefully it’ll only be six months or so before I move South… and get shoved into a dark, dusty corner again.

In good news at work, I took my flight to become considered experienced as a Radar Navigator in the B-52. This means I get to call all the shots downstairs in the offensive (weapons) compartment. People look to me on the crew to be the authority on all the combat systems management and weapons. When shit happens, I’m supposed to know how to fix it. Next stop is instructor. Woof. Wonder how much I’ll have to pay someone off for that certification… ha!

It did make me feel pretty swell to hear the big squadron bosses talking hush-hush about who should be an alternate for deployment (it’s a long haul out to the deployment location), and I just got signed off as experienced on Friday. One major said “I evaluated her and she can definitely take charge and run things accordingly.” Well, shit. I was asked to be an alternate. Doesn’t mean I get to go along with my squadron overseas, but finally, a glimmer of an “attaboy”. Those are extremely rare and far-between in this line of work, and rightfully so. No blowing smoke up your butt… at least I wouldn’t want it that way.

SO LONG. — Here is a photo of one of the last times I’ll see ol’ Devin and Amie for a while. & last night, I took Amie out for dinner on me. Lots of ladies take out their best gal pal for dinner or coffee. But it’s not because you won’t see them for half a year or so. I suppose this is one of the reasons I joined the military — for all the experiences. Civilians can’t always understand saying farewell to your spouse for a year or more. Wondering if you can get time away to see your family this year due to the MAJCOM schedule, and feeling guilty taking the time off because you don’t want to let your squadron down during inspections or exercises. Continuous credit and background checks, monitored personal e-mails. And let me tell ya: nail art is totally out.

Here is a summer look I just invested in. Yes, it’s still 23°F here in Minot, North Dakota, but I feel like if I lighten my hair, stock up on shorts and self-tanner, the six feet of snow piled on my front lawn might dissipate more quickly. Sure thing.


Around the World in 80 Words or Less

AUTUMN. — I am enjoying the fall weather here in Minot immensely! It has been warm, with clear skies and buckets of songbirds at the feeders in my backyard. Yes, I sound like I am ninety years old. Just a few minutes ago, a Chickadee who looking for a house shingle to secure his stash of seed was less than a foot from me while I was washing dishes. It felt like Disney’s Snow White, only this lazy bastard didn’t help me clean my house or fold my underwear.

To the right — that’s a photo of me about to attend the Air Force Ball in my knock-off Angelina Jolie Golden Globes dress. When did I go to a Ball? Let me explain…

Since it’s been a long time since my last update, I am forced to use the warp blog drive. List format, Engage!

  • Larry & I returned from two weeks in Europe
  • I picked up the flu in Rome as a souvenir
  • A new secretary starting working in my office – she’s awesome!
  • Attended the 65th Air Force Birthday Ball (I was on the committee)
  • Adopted a dachshund puppy on Friday
  • Threw my annual October Cocktail Party last night. Great success!
  • Lost twelve pounds since returning from Europe. Tiger blood.

OTTO PALINDROME PUPPY. — Firstly, here is a photo of the new puppy. His name is Otto (von Misbarck) and we received him from a breeder in Tennessee. It’s the same breeder my mom has received two dachshunds from, so he is related to her dogs. Christmas will be super cute! Additionally, we are expecting to hear if we will stake a claim to a German Pinscher puppy being born tomorrow. The breeder doesn’t know if there will be two females, so hopefully we can have one of them. Fall dog loves the leaves!

THE MED. — Since I have literally hundreds of photos from Europe, I will update two European stops per blog entry. Larry and I also took a lot of photos on the cruise itself; I’ll throw a few of those in as well sometime.


On Second Thought

EP EVENING. Boy, the blog entries are at a screeching halt lately! I’ve been quite busy at work and at home; so sorry this creative outlet has fallen to the wayside. But boring apologies aside, I’ve been doing well with my job as the… you know what? I’m not going to talk about work because there are more interesting things to discuss.

Last night, a group of thirteen of us invaded 10 North Main for a fabulous evening out. Larry set everything up and played humble host as we were seated in a private back party room. No, not party room like the one you “reserved” at the McDonald’s for your birthday party… well perhaps there are some similarities… but anyway, the room was pretty rad – it had a turntable set up with one hundred or so vinyl records to choose from. I found a Dean Martin album and put that on, and they also had Herb Alpert albums, too! I played DJ (literally) until dessert, when another vinyl vixen stepped in with Kool & the Gang. Ladies’ night, anyone?

WINE-OH. — On the subject of ladies’ night, I was invited to a Squadron Spouses’ club wine party on base at one of the spouse’s houses (rhymes). A lot of the spouses are pretty reserved, but I brought a nice stiff red wine, a Layer Cake Shiraz, and didn’t wait for the crowd to start. It’s a wine party, let’s get the wine & party started, am I right? I was actually the only person to get dropped off and picked back up so I could enjoy a nice time. Thanks, Larry!

I met some new ladies and saw not-so-new ones that I’ve been in a group study with (Not new; like, a whole month old, haha). I had a fun time, and left around nine. Larry and I attempted to scrounge up some dinner, but every nicer restaurant in town had either closed or stop serving food. I had a supper of a bourbon cocktail and half an ice cream sundae. CLASSY SHIT. Speaking of which, here are the “prom photos” from the International Military Ball a few weeks ago. Steph and I both look like we don’t want to pose with our dates. Have to say the dates have significantly improved since my last prom rodeo, however.

RULES OF THE RUNWAY. — Spring has sprung and that means shopping for a few things for spring (and summer – cruise!) Because I have the most difficult time finding clothes that fit, with my freakishly long waist and ridiculous boobs, I’ve found it’s best to avoid shirt or dress descriptions bearing these adjectives: cowl-neck, draped, babydoll, slub, ruffle-front, boxy, shift, blouson, sheer, built-in bra, oversized, cropped, strappy, backless, empire waist. I did find a couple things, and I’ll try to be better about fashion posts. I receive most of my visit hits from google searches for the fashion-rabid, so Brace Yourself: More hairstyle and makeup pictures are coming. For now, here is an outfit that I’ve put together for springing into… spring. Clever.

HEALTHY BODY. — To follow up on the progress we’ve made since we watched the film Food Matters, Larry and I have cut out the following from our diet: high fructose corn syrup, most refined white sugar, vegetable oils (including corn oil & soybean oil), anything with the word “hydrogenated”, or any artificial sweeteners. I’ve been challenging myself to make healthy, delicious meals – and it’s really not that tough. You just have to trash the stuff in your house that’s bad and never look back. We’ve been eating a lot of soups with fresh ingredients. This morning I made awesome pancakes with whole wheat flour, honey, and coconut oil (instead of vegetable oil). Bon appetit & c’est magnifique! It seems like I have more energy and feel good about what foods I am putting into my body. Now, if I can just get into a workout routine… C’mon, weather!


Back in the USA

N7 SLIPPERS. Why, yes, I am back in the states! I arrived back in town close to midnight on April fourth. I helped unload the pallets of luggage (hundreds of bags) before heading home at 0130 with my fabulous husband. Being that I was half a day ahead of Minot on time schedule, I didn’t end up sleeping much anyhow. I did get a couple of winks on the flight back, armed with combat slippers. I harassed the Master Sergeant next to me about not having said combat items on his person. Yes, I wear a low ponytail, take off all my makeup, and don cushiony slippers instead of flight boots. Toward the end of the flight, I hogged the bathroom to reapply makeup and look like a million bucks. Standard. Over there is a photo of me in my new N7 Mass Effect Hoodie. It’s pretty much my most favorite ever. Kind of like the Mass Effect franchise itself.

BUNNY RANCH. — I suppose the first event was a nice, quiet Easter the weekend of my return. In addition to the thrill of spotting a few bunnies on our evening walks, I made a home-made breakfast of Eggs Benedict, home fries, fruit and mimosas. We walked down the street to the Lutheran church for services; they shared the Easter message and featured their pipe organ to play uplifting and inspiring hymns. Here are some photos of us in our Sunday best, fighting off the dastardly squirrels that attack our bird feeders incessantly. Anyone have a BB gun? Want a squirrel pelt hat?

As for the rest of the week, I just tottered around the house, marveling at how much dust builds up and how dirty your home gets after four months vacated. After arranging the house to my liking, I invited my friend Stephanie from Portland to fly in and visit for the weekend. You know me: if I’m not overly busy, I’m not living! So with the Military Ball on the upcoming Saturday evening, I decided to entertain Steph and Devin on Friday night with a nice dinner. If you remember, Steph was my only bridesmaid in my wedding, besides my sister as maid of honor. She means a lot to me… and she has been going through some tough stuff lately, so it only seemed natural to have her come out for a fabulous North Dakota weekend. Here is a photo of the dining room set up for said dinner.

METAL CHURCH. — Since Saturday cleared up to be the most beautiful day on record, Steph and I ventured down the street to the Gol Stave Church Museum. It’s pretty much Minot’s claim to fame… if it had one. I suppose death-dealing bombers and a replica Scandinavian church = Minot, North Dakota. Anyway, we took our artfag cameras to capture what is considered to be the most metal church in existence. It has dragons on the roofs along side crosses. How could you argue with that! The park also features a 25-foot red horse painted in Scandinavian style, and a small home or two that has grass growing on the roof. Too quaint! The gift shop was closed, but Steph had lots of photos to remember her visit to Minot.

INT’L BALL. — Later on Saturday, we had Minot Air Force Base’s 24th Annual International Military Ball (international meaning Canada, too). Luckily, she brought a gown and Devin just happened to be sans date. Not for long, though! The ball featured a fabulous bagpipes and drum band, but I had to tell the DJ to pick it up, because the songs he was playing were dull. “Tommy Dorsey had so many upbeat hits. Let’s play one of them…” I don’t think “I’ll Never Smile Again” gets the party started. Speaking of getting the party started, the Air Force group that played after featured a repertoire of five songs. Five. Hits included such gems as “Crazy In Love” by Beyonce and some Black Eyed Peas song. Fine once, but then just a few minutes in, they started repeating. A live band. Repeating songs not twenty minutes into their set. Oh God. But overall it was a good time, and we had good people at our table! Plus, it was so nice to finally have Larry around. I told him at the cocktail hour I kept forgetting he was there because it’d been so long since we went to an official function together… precisely a year and four months, if you must know actualities. It was like a pleasant surprise to turn around and see him (being handsome) every time! Actually having a date that isn’t deployed or in training is amazing; I think I can speak for us both. I’ve had some people ask why I didn’t wear my mess dress. If you can’t determine why from this photo, then let’s just say that I wanted to just be a spouse for one evening. The official reason is that this even wasn’t a mandatory military function, so it was my choice if I did. Oh! & I have to take credit for Steph’s hair. ♥

INT’L BALL. — Lastly, Larry and I watched a short documentary called Food Matters. It’s about vitamins and organic food and how your body is its own natural healer. Now, I’m not some food nut, but those who know me are aware I don’t eat red meat or pork for health reasons, and for unsanitary slaughterhouse conditions. I’ve done some research on alternatively healthy living, but we’ve decided to read up a little more on it. I bought organic strawberries the other day, and the cashier and bag boy were raving about how colorful and bright they looked. And they tasted like real strawberries! So much fruit is so bland now; my grandma remarked a few years ago about how good bananas were when she was a little girl. Now they are sadly bland. My mom had a huge garden when I was growing up and we kept chickens for their eggs. I’ve found a spouse in my squadron that raises hens and knows the scoop on local produce and meat. Hopefully I’ll see and feel some positive changes from eating well! Yenta says, “What, no seconds on lentil soup? You don’t like my cooking? I bet you’d rather me just drop dead and not cook for you anymore. Maybe then you’d miss that lentil soup.”

I return to work this Friday to start my new job as Squadron Executive Officer. It’s basically just a secretary job for the commander… But it’s something new and different!


Onward to Winter?

Best news first! My sister is pregnant with her third baby! She found out and told the family yesterday: what excitement! She has two little girls already, so it’s a toss up for a boy or girl this time! She makes the cutest babies, so the family is just over the moon about the whole idea. Lucky stiff. At 31, she’ll be done with having babies before I even start. How about that.

Lately, I have had a lesser workload in the office. Boy does my personality change when I’m not under stress every waking moment! I feel really great – like myself. At work I’ve been gearing up for a check ride, which is basically where an evaluator sits behind you and watches your actions on a flight, to decide whether you should continue to be considered a safe, tip top air crew member. I’m not worried, I just treat it like any other flight. Flyers do a check ride a little less than yearly. I do my weapons pre-flight demonstration on Thursday. Yes, “break a leg” applies here!

So with Halloween around the corner, my pals and I decided to go to the various festivities as the most classic Halloween costume: NERDS. Yes, I do have (and play) an accordion. Revenge of the Nerds fans, take heart!

The temperature is dropping here up North, not quite as quickly as in recent years, however! We have yet to see snow. My birds are fattening up for winter like little cotton balls! And by “my birds”, I mean the visitors to my outdoor feeders. Nothing brings me a unique joy like birdwatching! I was staring out the window the other day, and one of the neighbor’s ne’er-do-well teenager friends was scaring and chasing my birds and squirrels. I opened the kitchen window and yelled “I see you! Stop scaring my birds. Get out of my yard, Justin Bieber!” and shut the window. With slumped shoulders and a defeated look, he shuffled away down the alley with that ridiculous haircut. …And now my transformation into an eighty-five year old woman is complete. I treat birds like pets, play jazz standards on the piano, watch black and white musicals, yell at teenagers, and talk about the “good ol’ days”… of which I wasn’t even alive for. You know, the usual.

The picture below is me with pals at a local art auction and sale. The theme was a “French Gala”, but the only French part about it was the wine and cheesy “Moulin Rouge” dancers straight out of the high school jailbait dance group. If it were up to me, the music would have been pumping’ some Line Renaud, Maurice Chevalier, Lucienne Delyle and Juliette Gréco to get that fête started! Everyone loves pervy ol’ Maurice! But it was great to see some of the locals dressed up to impress. One lady even asked if I shopped Bettie Page Clothing online. Awesome! The dress I was wearing was actually by Stop Staring!, but I look more like Melanie Laurent from Inglorious Basterds.

Gone are my blues,
And gone are my tears;
I’ve got good news
To shout in your ears.
The silver dollar has returned to the fold,
With silver you can turn your dreams to gold!


Funny Men

This past week was pretty laid back, and that’s the first time I’ve said that in… well, I can’t remember! I sent out one hundred wedding invitations to their respective owners, all addressed by hand. I think my penmanship has greatly improved, and especially toward the end of the line. My apologies to the earlier addressed invite recipients; it may or may not look like a kindergarten class helped.

Last night, Amie, Devin and I drove down south to New Town, ND to see the comedian Rob Schneider at an Indian casino. I’m a big fan of his delightful film “The Hot Chick”, as well as the “Deuce Bigalow” films. We all hoped his stand up comedy was just as silly and fun. Upon arrival to the casino, it was a sea of slouchy hoodies, jeans, and flip flops. One girl literally had pajama pants on. Even the casinos down in Shreveport had a snappy dresser or two! And then I witnessed why: evidently you had to pay an extra five dollars to have a back on your chair for the show. Yes, the event was held in little more than a high school gymnasium, and we were sitting on bleachers. After a couple drinks, the comfort level rose significantly and the show was quite enjoyable. Rob Schneider is one short dude! After the show, I made a beeline over to the security guards and inquired if Rob would be signing autographs. The answer was no, so we headed out to the casino floor. Pausing by the roulette table, a short Mexican man said security was looking for me. Evidently Rob was posing for photos, so I bypassed the 150+ people in line and was immediately let back stage. Rob exclaimed “Wow, someone actually dressed up!” I guess our photo will be on the casino’s Facebook page in a few days. Kinda neat! It was a fantastic time, though, it really was.

I got quite a few things accomplished around the house the past couple weeks. In fact, I’ll show you photos of it instead of just rambling. Before and after!

Well, I’ve decided to donate some art to the upcoming Air Force Officer’s Spouse’s auction. I am going to do three 16″x20″ pin-up girl paintings. If this bomber squadron is worth their salt, they’ll bid away on our heritage! I really wish the Air Force would stop being scared of nose art and bring it back. Perhaps when I’m a General… Ha! Yeah… Anyway, I’ll post ’em when I’m finished. I’m going to make a portfolio site for them in hopes of obtaining a side racket of sorts!

In other good news, I received my very first wedding gifts: Lenox china in “Vintage Jewel”. These fantastic presents were given to me by my grandmother, her husband and my parents. Eight breathtaking place settings!


Pedal Faster!

Oh! I have a second. Let me fill you in on some happenings!

I’ve been extremely busy at work the past two weeks. My flying at the new squadron is in full swing. Each flight is close to ten hours of in-the-air time, plus ground time to get the plane ready to go. About twenty hours in two weeks; that’s a lot of B-52 flight time! I’ve also been in the simulator for nuke training quite a bit and, unfortunately, dancing on the line between feeling under the weather and feeling good to go. The flight yesterday was very busy, and I learned a lot about JDAM/close air support (yes, the B-52 does CAS) and in-flight replanning. The flights here for a new navigator are like trying to sip water daintily from a fire hose. The amount of information is overwhelming. I’d like to think myself a quick learner, so I hope I catch up soon! The pilots also seem to have a bit of a sour attitude towards the offense compartment. Hey, not everyone is lucky enough to be a bombardier and certified terrorist obliterator. I understand your pain, pilots.

The three-day weekend for Martin Luther King, Jr. day was much needed. I had a lot of grouchy projects staring me down disapprovingly here at the house, and I even got around to working on a couple of them! This included installing a gas fireplace, painting and hanging light fixtures. Before you ask: yes, I have my first “before and after” photos of the new Minot house! I won’t take furnished photos until it’s perfect; I can’t seem to find the right rug for this room. I have what I want in mind, but finding someone that makes it is another story. Think of something tangible? Overrated. Oh the woes of being a perfectionist!

Fortunately, I found the perfect tuxedo for Larry. It’s from Brooks Brothers; they seem to make the definitive white tie and tails coat. He is very relieved that he’ll have something so dapper to wear on our big day and the cruise thereafter! Every gentleman needs a fabulous tuxedo in their closet! Talk about handsome.

This past weekend, aforementioned beau and I put on our dandiest clothing and ventured out into downtown Minot to explore the night life. I found a fabulous vintage shop, in fact, one of the nicest I’ve ever happened upon! The store was set up so neatly and each item was so thoughtfully on display. I bought three sets of earrings (I’m wearing a pair in the photos below) for $10, a black and white polka dotted silk scarf, a blue striped sweater, an old glass Minot dairy bottle, and a hardcover biography of Vivien Leigh.

Later in the evening, we tried a restaurant that some locals have recommended. It’s called Ten North Main and is within walking distance from the house… when it’s not -4° outside, of course. I sported four inch heels: Snow and ice be damned! I will not let you affect my fashion choices further than a coat and flattening my curls! The restaurant was decent – it had a loud bar with a football game going in the corner. From what I gather, that’s probably where they make most of their money. The drinks were fantastic and the menu was standard fare. I guess I’d return, if not just for the drinks and atmosphere. The wait staff was very kind and complementary on my ensemble. I also briefly saw one of my co-workers, a fellow lady navigator on a date with her beau. I asked if she had a good time our flight together Wednesday; she said she didn’t recognize me. Oh well!

Lastly, I ordered a couple light fixtures after much agonizing over literally thousands of fixtures. The one on the left is in my 1920s art nouveau bedroom. The right one is for the industrial style art deco media room. Every room deserves a chandelier!


Ladies & Furnishings

This past weekend was a ladies’ night at the home of one of our flight instructors. There would be wine and cheese, but I had a brilliant idea to hit up a cocktail lounge downtown before the party. Four other aviatrices and myself put on our finest and arrived at the Horseshoe Casino: and much to our delight, drinks were on the house. Always a plus! I haven’t had the chance to chat much with these ladies, but they are extremely fun and sassy!

After a few drinks, we dropped in on the get together. Rachel danced her way into the living room where I was sitting and spilled a bunch of red wine on the floor, which splattered a little on the white couch arm. Party time! Cocktail napkins to the rescue…

Today Devin and I went exploring around different furniture centers in town. The last place we stopped was quite a goldmine: it had interior designers at the ready with endless options. I found a chair for the living room I absolutely love! Additionally, I found a chair that was just too fabulous to pass up; I’ll most likely purchase it for my bedroom. I haven’t decided what fabric to do the rounded bedroom chair in, yet. The hardest part is finding the furniture for a living room and deciding on the accent color. The fabric of the chair I selected is so Old Hollywood! Can’t get any more classic and relaxing than a pale teal-blue. They also had a gigantic selection of antique chandeliers. I think I shall sell a kidney for one. All that extra kidney does is lay around anyway, it might as well make itself useful and trade it in for something beautiful and worthy of a dimmer switch.

In the photos below, the left photo is the living room chair I ordered with the fabric selection to the right. I’m not purchasing the ottoman. The couch in the center is the one I found last week. The color is a tiny ivory damask stripe, which has a slight sheen to it for dimension. The chair on the right is my future bedroom chair, but haven’t found the right fabric as of yet.